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Report: Netenyahu will not send negotiations delegation to Cairo
Abbas: Settlements destroying two-state dream
Published Friday 25/09/2009 (updated) 27/09/2009 10:54
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Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land remains the greatest threat to the two-state solution, President Mahmoud Abbas said at the United Nations on Friday.

In an address to the General Assembly in New York, he said Israel's decades-long policy of building settlements in occupied territory "will undermine the goal of establishing a geographically contiguous Palestinian state," and called on the country to reverse course.

Abbas warned, "Time is short and the risks are accumulating because of the continued suffering of the Palestinian people, who are weighed down by the last foreign occupation in the world."

His speech came one day after a hard-hitting address from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who has in recent months rebuffed worldwide calls for a settlement freeze in advance of negotiations.

Although the Palestine Liberation Organization remains committed to achieving a "comprehensive, just peace based on international legitimacy," Abbas insisted, Israel's refusal to momentarily stop building settlements has eliminated any chance of resuming talks.

"How is it conceivable that negotiations can be held on borders and Jerusalem when Israeli bulldozers are working to change the reality on the ground... and imposing borders as Israel desires?" he said. "How can one conceive holding negotiations without agreement on the terms of reference and the objective and goal of these negotiations that the whole world has unanimously agreed upon?"

Applauding Barack Obama's address two days earlier that had "inspired the people of the region" by calling for talks based on an eventual end to Israel's occupation that began in 1967, Abbas said, "We affirm that adherence to this basis, in addition to the complete freeze of the settlement activities, can salvage the peace process and open horizons for its success."

Abbas also called on Israel to "release the 10,000 prisoners and detainees, and to lift the unjust siege imposed on the Gaza Strip." He added that Israel's assault there last winter, in which at least 1,400 Palestinians were killed, "wrought unprecedented destruction of infrastructure, and public facilities."
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1 ) Nour / Palestine
25/09/2009 21:27
Negotiations are futile because one side is underdog (we Palestinians) and the other side is Goliath (Israel and an eslaved America). Israel practically demolished the 2-state solution. We might add that Israel itself signed this blueprint. Israel doesn't recognize itself (where are its borders?)

2 ) Nour / Palestine
25/09/2009 21:27
Abbas should just give it up, the negotiations path failed because such negotiations were a recipe for disaster. Only option for Palestinians is the peaceful achievment of a united, secular Palestine from river to sea.

3 ) Nour / Palestine
25/09/2009 21:28
This is the outcome that will guarantee right of return for both Palestinian refugees and Jews making "aliyah". This is the only logical solution that shuns racism and embraces objective 21st century thinking! All peace lovers should endeavor to spread the word and repeating it ALOUD: ONE STATE NOW

4 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
25/09/2009 21:30
Sit with Mitchell and bring a map showing 2 to 4:1 land swap for the fertile settlement blocks land. And demand they fund a chunnel from Ramallah to Gaza & 2 huge desalination plants. Be prepared to leak the map to the world press. Show flexibility, give Obama & Mitchell something to work with.

5 ) Nour / Palestine
25/09/2009 21:30
Maan, PLEASE allow us to post messages exceeding 300 characters. It's very difficult to write anything meaningful or to develop an argument with this restriction. Is this a technical or a censorship issue?

6 ) Jerrold Cohen / USA
26/09/2009 06:35
Mark, Nour is right. The interlacing of Jew only roads and settlements cut the West Bank and East Jerusalem into separate cantons, impossible for a 2-state solution. Obama wants to cave in, shut up on the Gaza op for getting moderate US Jewish support. It's a mess. 1-state is inevitable.

7 ) Deborah / USA
26/09/2009 23:06
there is no way to separate the two peoples now. and obama will not, I repeat, not deliver palestinian statehood. the us govt. is in the throes of pro-Zionist interests that will not bend regardless of the consequences. the answer lies in international civil society campaigns.
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